Cross-Country Skiing Ashland OR
Buck Prairie Winter Recreation Area
Buck Prairie is a popular cross-country skiing and snow-shoeing trail about 25 minutes east of Ashland. There are 17 miles of ungroomed trail loops accessible here, including a 4-mile loop and a 11.7-mile loop. Both loops begins with a gradual descent for about a mile before the 4-mile loop splits downhill sharply to the right through trees on a single-track trail before some intermediate uphill work delivers you back to the parking area. The longer loop descends along a ridge of open viewpoints before a long steady climb back to the trailhead. From Buck Prairie you can catch views of Mt. McLoughlin, Hyatt Lake, the Rogue Valley and Siskiyou and Cascade mountain ranges. Dogs are not allowed here.
Difficulty Level: Easy to Moderate
Directions: From downtown Ashland, head southeast on Siskiyou Blvd. Take a left onto Ashland Street and follow it past the freeway entrances and curve to the right. Turn left onto Dead Indian Memorial Road. Drive uphill past mile marker 12. At about 12.4 will be Burnt Creek Road on your right. Half a mile past this you’ll see the Buck Prairie Road parking area on your right at about 12.9 miles.
Note: You must have a Sno-Park permit to park at the trailhead.
Grouse Gap Nordic Trails
Mt. Ashland has downhill ski lifts and trails on the north face, plus a web of popular cross-country ski trails on the south face with spectacular views of Mt. Shasta and other California peaks on clear days. As the highest peak near town, Mt. Ashland is the natural snow destination, with great backwoods terrain for Telemark skiing and snowshoeing.
Taking a left near the trailhead leads you downhill 500 feet for 1.6 miles to Grouse Creek.
A right at the trailhead offers rather level terrain for one mile to a fork.
A left at the fork takes you a moderate mile downhill to the Grouse Gap shelter before backtracking.
A right at the fork leads you up the often windy Summit Trail, climbing over 900 feet to the giant white ball at the peak.
Difficulty Level: Grouse Creek – Moderate; Grouse Gap – Easy to Moderate; Summit Trail – Easy until the ascent, Moderate thereafter
Directions: From downtown Ashland, drive southeast through town on Siskiyou Blvd until it merges onto the I-5 on-ramp. After 6 miles, take Exit 6 to Mt. Ashland. In .7 miles, turn right onto Mt. Ashland Ski Road. This winds uphill for 8.9 miles. Drive straight through the main parking lot to the back lot. The trailhead begins at the far end.
Note: Tire chains may be necessary. Sno-Park permits necessary from November 1st to April 30th.
Bull Gap Snowpark
Ski the Bull Gap Trail 5.8 miles up to Mt. Ashland Ski Lodge, or take the advanced 3.5 mile Crest Loop.
Bull Gap Trail is a gradual 600-foot descent for 3.3 miles – with a view of Mt. McLoughlin – to the Bull Gap intersection before climbing 2.5 miles and 1100 feet to the lodge. Ski the trail in reverse for more downhill by following blue diamond markers below the lodge’s north side into the trees.
The challenging Crest Loop offshoot starts at Bull Gap trailhead, but turns right on the side trail after .4 miles. Rejoining Bull Gap Trail after 2.2 miles, turn left for .9 miles back to the trailhead.
Difficulty Level: Moderate to Challenging
Directions: From downtown Ashland, drive southeast through town on Siskiyou Blvd. and merge onto the Interstate-5 on-ramp. After 6 miles uphill, take exit 6 to Mt. Ashland. In .7 miles, turn right onto Mt. Ashland Ski Road. Take this road uphill for 7 miles to a small lot on the right at the Bull Gap Snowpark.
Notes: Tire chains may be necessary. Dogs are prohibited. A Sno-Park permit is required to park here.
Outdoor Recreation Safety Note: Please be sure to read our safety note on our Outdoor Recreation home page.
Cross-country Skiing Ashland OR
Tags: Cross-country skiing Ashland OR